The Lemon Twigs' journey from their parents' basement to a headline tour


The Lemon Twigs’ Brian and Michael D’Addario theatrical, ‘60s-inspired pop is getting noticed by everyone, from Questlove to Elton John.

The D’Addario brothers have been playing music in the basement of their parents’ Long Island home since they were kids.

Actually, they’re kids still – Brian is 19 and Michael is 17.

“When did you start writing songs?” asked “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-host Anthony Mason.

“Brian wrote his first song at 7,” Michael said.

“It’s very sloppy and stuff, but it’s basically a rip-off of a Monkees song,” Brian said.

The Lemon Twigs’ sound is a blend of British invasion influences, absorbed from their father’s record collection. Ronnie D’Addario is a session musician who’s released his own records.

“People would always ask me, ‘Did you do anything?’ I said, ‘Nope,’” Ronnie said.

But Ronnie and his wife, Susan, made sure their two boys were surrounded by whatever instruments they needed – even a gong.

“That was during The Who period. They wanted a gong, they got a gong,” Susan said.

“There was a Who period?” Mason asked.

“It started out with The Beatles,” Susan said.

“It started out with The Beatles and The Beach Boys. And they discovered The Who on their own. And Bowie,” Ronnie said. 

 “It’s just really interesting… at that age, what you guys pulled out of those records,” Mason said.

“We’re always trying to kind of strive to...” Brian began to say as his brother finished his sentence.

“Make something that really couldn’t have come out of anybody else’s head,” Michael added.

Before The Lemon Twigs, the brothers had a cover band called M.O.T.P.

“Which stands for?” Mason asked.

“Members Of The Press,” the brothers said simultaneously.

“I wasn’t going to finish that one,” Michael said, laughing.

“That was like our first thing we did. Like, we started it when we were in like third grade,” Michael said.

“And then it lasted, you know, right up until the end of high school,” Brian said.

“So did you guys play live?” Mason asked.

“We played like, really empty places all the time,” Michael said.

When they weren’t making music, they both worked as child actors. Michael played Elizabeth Banks’ son in “People Like Us,” and Brian played Flounder in “The Little Mermaid” on Broadway.

“You think it affected your stage act in anyway?” Mason asked.

“Yeah, I think it just made us more comfortable on stage. And you have to be comfortable to put yourself out there in anyway,” Brian said.

Now as The Lemon Twigs, they’re about to launch their first tour as headliners through Europe.

“What do you think about what’s happening to you?” Mason asked.

“We’re just very lucky. ‘Cus like our dad went through -- he did all the same things we did in terms of trying to write songs and things didn’t happen for him. So we’re aware that this could’ve easily gone a different way,” Brian said.

“And we’ve never had anything to sell. And now we got stuff to sell and people are buying it,” Michael said. “We got T-shirts, we got records. Beautiful shirts. We’ll get you one.”

“We just gotta get some dates on the back,” Brian said.